Celebrity chef tour coming to Travelers Rest

By Lacey Keigley, contributing writer:

One of the things we love most about Travelers Rest is the way it continues to surprise us.  Also, we love the way it surprises (and satisfies) our appetites and our tastebuds.

In our town, you can enjoy a down home style Southern breakfast with buttery grits served on a table covered with a vinyl checkered tablecloth.  In the same town, you can picnic with fine wine purchased right on Main Street.  There’s pizza so good that people drive across the mountain to order it up.  You can strap on your heels and your suits and feast on pork belly and scallops.

Our food scene really does have it all.

And more.

One local restaurant is hosting a special event to highlight talented chefs and incredible food and the art and craft that goes into planning and prepping and creating a delicious and beautiful dish.

Restaurant 17, located in Travelers Rest at Hotel Domestique, will be host to the James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour on March 18.

“We are most excited for the privilege of being a part of this tour,” Adam Leatherbee, the restaurant and the hotel’s General Manager, shared.  “This is an opportunity to allow both locals and guests – and talented chefs from around the country – to experience what Restaurant 17 has to offer.”

And what they have to offer is a whole lot.  There are the incredible views and the pristine hotel accommodations themselves.  The sun setting and the windows facing the mountain ridge offer some of the “pretty” that we locals here already embrace so affectionately.  Sipping wine and enjoying attentive service to details is only enhanced by the long range views from the many well placed windows.

But of course – we can’t ignore what people will be driving those picturesque roads to find at this unique Celebrity Chef Tour.  The food!

Eight chefs will each be preparing a course for guests to enjoy.  Eight chefs.  Eight courses.  We can’t imagine anyone will leave unsatisfied.  Nor hungry.  Wine pairings will be offered throughout to compliment the courses and to accompany the dishes.

The James Beard House is located in New York City and the well known restaurant routinely offers specialty dinners and events at their NYC location.  Their Celebrity Chef Tour hits about twenty various cities through the United States each year and this offering at Restaurant 17 will be the first time Travelers Rest has made the list.


Nick Graves, Restaurant 17’s Executive Chef, is the hosting chef for this event.  (We can tell you from experience – this guy can cook!)  He’ll be joined by Restaurant 17’s pastry chef Meghan Neal.  The other six chefs hail from various restaurants across the country.  Brian Baxter from Husk in Nashville will be adding his culinary skills to the evening.  One of our favorite nearby cities, Asheville, is represented with William Dissen from The Marketplace Restaurant & Lounge.  The west coast is making their way east too with Matt Accarrino from SPQR in San Francisco.  And we love when Greenville favorites hop over to TR – like Anthony Gray from Bacon Brothers.  Chef Steve Phelps from Indigenous might be surprised to find our weather as pleasant as his home state of Florida’s weather this season.  New Orleans is represented with Philip Lopez of the Rebel Restaurant Group.

The food isn’t the only star of the show.  (But it’s probably the most delicious.)  The chefs will be available for a question and answer session and will be explaining their course and its process to the guests.

Tickets to the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour are $150 each and can be purchased by calling 864.615.1715 to make your reservation.

You might just want to make an entire weekend out of it.  Book one of the gorgeous rooms at Hotel Domestique and enjoy the sunrise the next morning as well.  (They have fur blankets on the bed.  A fireplace in the room.  And river rocks on the floors of the shower.  That might be all you need to know.)

We already know that Travelers Rest is where both celebrities (chefs and otherwise) and locals can feel at home, where the mountains meet fields and where good food and good friends abound, but it’s nice to welcome others to appreciate what we have here as well.

The Celebrity Chef Tour at Restaurant 17 will be a fantastic tasting and fabulous looking partnering of all we love about TR – people and food and hospitality and creating memories in all those areas.

This article originally appeared on TravelersRestHere.com.

All photos by Hotel Domestique/Restaurant 17


Stay connected with the Travelers Rest Tribune: eNews Facebook — Twitter — Instagram